Category Archives: Soup

White Bean and Chicken Chili

So January is the month of soup.  I love them and obviously it shows. When you live in Texas the window where you can eat soup comfortably is very small so I am taking full advantage of it.


This is definitely a weeknight soup and it is not like a traditional chili.  I like to think it has a little bit of Italian flair which would make sense seeing as this recipe was done originally by Giada de Laurentis.  My favorite part is you wilt in Swiss chard.  Anything with dark leafy greens and I am pretty much sold.


White Bean and Chicken Chili

Giada de Laurentis

4-6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground chicken
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
3 tablespoons flour
2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more depending on taste
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir the flour into the chicken mixture. Add the beans, Swiss chard, corn, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 55-60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened. Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Enjoy!



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Potato and Fennel Soup with Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

If there are two foods I can always count on liking they are potato soup and smoked salmon. I originally came up with this idea when I stumbled across this potato soup recipe that called for fennel and smoked salmon in the soup.  I decided to hearty if up for a lunch or casual dinner and do the smoked salmon on the side in sandwiches.


Fennel Potato Soup and Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

serves 4

3 tablespoons butter
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, chopped, fronds chopped and reserved
2 large leek (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch cubes
5 1/2 cups (or more) chicken stock

4 oz. smoked salmon
2 oz. goat cheese
2 oz. cream cheese
2 c. arugula
4 Tbsp. capers, drained
8 slices of sour dough
butter for toasting

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add fennel, leek, garlic, and fennel seeds and cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring often, about 8 minutes.

Add potatoes and 5 1/2 cups broth. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium. Cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to pot and rewarm over medium heat, stirring often and thinning with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls for desired consistency. Season soup with salt and pepper.


Melt a little butter in a nonstick heavy skillet over medium.  Add bread and toast on both sides.  You made need to do this in batches depending on the size of your skillet.  Immediately after toasting spread 4 slices with goat cheese and 4 slices with cream cheese.  Place 1 oz. salmon, arugula, and capers on top of cream cheese and finish sandwich with the slice of bread spread with goat cheese.


Serve alongside soup.


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Red Lentil Soup

With the cold weather coming on strong it is the perfect time for a hearty vegetarian soup.  So warm and filling this is the perfect end to a busy weekday.


This soup idea was passed down from my mother and is perfect for using extra produce in the fridge.

Red Lentil Soup

serves 4

1 c. dry red lentils, rinsed
32 oz. vegetable stock
2 c. water
1 Tbsp. grape seed oil
1 garlic clove
i large carrot, peeled
1/2 medium yellow onion
1 chopped tomato
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 zucchini, chopped
2 c. baby spinach
salt and pepper

Add garlic, carrot, and onion to a food processor and pulse to mince. This could also be done by hand.

Heat oil in a medium-large stock pot. Saute garlic mixture with the one chopped tomato and saute over medium heat for 8 minutes or until tender.


Add stock and water to pot along with lentils. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add in parsley and oregano. Simmer over low heat 45 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Blend soup to puree. An emulsion or traditional blender could be used for this. Return soup to pot over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add zucchini and simmer 25 minutes. Once tender stir in spinach and stir to wilt and serve.


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Matzo Ball Soup

Yes, I am aware that this is Hanukkah not Passover, but it is finally cold and this soup is sooooo good I cannot have it just once a year.


If you don’t want to do matzo balls you can just as easily add noodles or rice, but my preference is definitely the matzo.

Matzo Ball Soup

serves 4-6 as a main

1 4lb chicken
1 1/2 onions
7 carrots
6 celery ribs
1 bunch parsley
8 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1 Tbsp. or package of chicken base, I used Knorr’s condensed chicken stock
salt and fresh ground black pepper

For Matzo balls:
Manischewitz matzo ball mix, 1 packet
2 eggs
1/3 c. finely chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Remove innards and clean out the inside of your chicken. place in a stock pot and add enough water to fully cover the chicken. Place over medium high heat. Now you are going to add your vegetables, keep in mind you are going to strain this all out so the carrots and celery can be very roughly chopped and the herbs can be left whole. To the stock pot add 1 onion, halved then quartered. 4 peeled and chopped carrots, 4 celery stalks, chopped, 8 Parsley sprigs, 8 thyme sprigs, the celery seeds and the bay leaf. Season very generously with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Simmer the chicken 1 1/2 or until done. At this point take the chicken out to cool and add the chicken base. Continue to simmer your stock another 30 minutes. When the chicken is cool enough to handle remove from the bone.

While stock is simmering prepare your matzo balls. I used the Manischewitz mix and added the 2 eggs and oil as well as 1/3 c. finely chopped parsley. Cover with saran wrap and chill 15-20 minutes. From our experience we find over chilling may contribute to heavy matzo balls so I would try to watch the time on this.


Get out the pot you want to cook your soup in, be sure it has a lid to properly cook the matzo balls. Strain your stock into the pot keeping the liquid and discarding the solids. To your broth add the 1/2 onion diced, remaining celery and carrot diced, and a few sprigs of parsley fine chopped. Add the shredded chicken. Place over medium high heat. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.


Once boiling drop the matzo balls into the soup. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 20 minutes to cook through. Once cooked you can leave the soup over low heat until ready to serve. The matzo balls will continue to soak up liquid but that is okay. Give each person 1-2 matzo balls. Enjoy!


Happy Hanukkah Everyone!!!


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Turkey Poblano Stew

We had so much left over turkey…. it was to the point where I took it out of the refrigerator and vowed to not put the same aluminum foil covered dish back in.  That was when this turkey stew was born.

In addition to excess turkey I also have a large amount of poblano peppers.  My parents are growing them in their garden and dutifully sent me home with about 50.  Don’t worry I roasted and then froze half of them so there will be many poblano recipes throughout the winter!

Ok… so for the stew, feel free to add in any additional veggies! just note you may need a little extra stock if you want it more on the soupy side.

Turkey Poblano Stew

serves 4 as a main course

1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 to 6 c. turkey stock
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. comino
4 poblanos, halved and seeded
2 cups leftover turkey
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
6 oz. Chorizo, casings removed
3 c. chopped spinach
salt and pepper to taste

Turn on your broiler. Place the poblano peppers on a baking sheet cut side down. When hot, broil the pepper 10-12 minutes to char. Keep an eye on them broiling happens quickly. Remove from oven and place in a bowl. Cover with saran wrap and let steam an additional 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle remove skins and chop.

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to soup pot. Saute onion, garlic, and carrots 10 minutes or until browned and softened. Season with salt. Add the 2 Tbsp. of flour and coat the vegetables. Slowly add the warm stock whisking between additions to thicken.

Stir in the turkey, reserved poblanos and beans to heat through.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and cook the sausage just until it is cooked through. Drain excess oil if needed and add this to the stew along with the 1 tsp. of comino and any salt and pepper needed.
Stir in the spinach and wilt just before serving. Enjoy!

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Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

It is finally under 80°F in Texas, so it is time to make some soup!!

In particular this sweet potato soup.  The spiciness of the chipotles will warm you up in no time and it is a quick and easy vegetarian dish.

Oh… and did I mention the pecans? because they are definitely worth mentioning!

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

serves 4

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1-2 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped (be careful these are spicy!!!)
1 tsp. soy sauce

For serving:
Greek yogurt
brown sugar chipotle pecans

1 c. pecans
1/4 c. brown sugar
pinch of chipotle powder
1 Tbsp. butter

In a small nonstick skillet melt the butter.  Add pecans and coat.  Stir in brown sugar and stir until it starts to melt, 4-5 minutes.  Add a tiny pinch of chipotle powder and continue to cook until the sugar has completely coated the pecans.  Transfer to parchment paper.

Start by heating the olive oil over medium heat.  When it is hot add the onion, carrot, and celery.  Cook 8-10 minutes to soften, then add the garlic and cook a minutes more.

Next, add the sweet potatoes, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, chipotles and vegetable stock.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 15-20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Very carefully puree the soup.  You can do this using an emulsion blender or in batches in your blender. Be sure to be careful when blending the hot soup.  Once blended stir in 1 tsp. of soy sauce.  Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt, or sour cream would work, and pecans. Enjoy!


Filed under Soup, vegetarian